Clonoe favourites as county final nears

Clonoe will be hoping Stephen McNulty can rise like this against Carrickmore on Sunday
Clonoe will be hoping Stephen McNulty can rise like this against Carrickmore on Sunday

All eyes will be on Healy Park in Omagh on Sunday afternoon as Clonoe O’Rahillys and Carrickmore St Colmcilles contest the county final, the classic east versus west encounter for the O’Neill Cup.

Clonoe were impressive and emphatic winners over Errigal Ciaran on last weekend and enter Sunday’s game as favourites with odds layers.

They are currently a 4-6 chance while their opponents, Carrickmore, winners over Moy at the weekend can be supported at 7-4.

Carmen were made to work all the way against Moy before pulling away in the dying minutes of the game to record a somewhat flattering 3-9 to 0-9 victory.

It will be the first time the sides have met in the final since the O’Rahillys got the better of the St Colmcilles in the 1958 decider.

Both managers have tasted county final success, Carrickmore’s manager Brian Gormley as a player witht he club and Clonoe manager Damien Cassidy as a manager, when Clonoe last won the title in 2008.

Clonoe have been back in the final since but lost out to Dromore in the 2011 decider.

Carmen will be bidding for their first victory in the county final since 2005 having lost out in the 2006 and 2010 deciders.

Awaiting the winners the following Sunday in the Ulster Club Championship preliminary round will be Ballinderry Shamrocks who claimed their third successive Derry county title with a straightforward win over Ballinascreen yesterday at Celtic Park in Derry.

The curtain raiser to Sunday’s tie will see Coalisland’s Under 21s take on Greencastle with throw in at 1.30pm.

The senior decider will throw in at 3.30pm.